time crunch

Posted by Daniela Elza on Nov 06 2008

Another time crunch. Things have to get done, and things have to get written, and edited, and sent out. Yet, the only time is right now and right here. Where we embrace every moment and then pretty much at the same time have to let it go.

Otherwise, we miss the next, and the next, and the next moment.

Get the laundry done, vote, save the UBC farm, get your book review written, pick up the kids, vacuum, go to class, make sure you pack snacks, vote again, listen to what happened at school today, quiet those thoughts down in your head so you can listen better, make soup, bake a poem, say hi to your friend who is going through a hard patch, book the birthday party, oh, yes, vote, and do not forget to eat.

Can we really be present amidst all this? Can we slip underneath the rushing and find stillness in the midst of all this whirling and spinning and driving? How often do we consciously attend? There is the past to brood over, and there is the gaze into the future to predict, assume, hope, despair. But really, the moment right now is the only thing we have. That gutter, that gap, that connects the two.

It seems to me attending, and being fully present in the moment is more and more a conscious activity. Young children attend to the moment. They are present for that ant, that leaf. It is hard for them to buy into the hurry up we will be late plot that we as adults are written into, and constantly written by.

So these are some of my thoughts today, as I take a break from my letter to UBC regarding the 24 hectares farm that they want to reduce to the size of 8 (in one of their proposed options) or move to another unsuitable site for a farm (in their other two options). None of the proposed options seem to keep the children’s programs, which allow thousands of kids to have hands-on knowledge of sustainable soil practices, food production and the healthy community that develops around these practices. In this, last working farm in Vancouver. My daughter was part of the Landed Learning Project last year where her class visited the farm every other week for most of the school year.

As if we can move a 40 year old farm, like we can move a house, or change a winter coat. Not to mention 80 or so year old adjacent forest that will have to go. The one where my daughter walked me through (a few times) and taught me about the wild edible berries. The one that seems important to the farms ecosystem, and helps with natural pestcontrol, not to mention the wildlife that depends on it. As if place did not matter. The value in a farm is not what is on the surface.

I am trying to sift through looking for the underlying values that are betrayed by such actions. Looking for the eco-systematic approach, the recognition that ecosystems are valuable places that need protection, not transportation.

I guess I can understand this type of thinking more from the point of view that we run our schools like businesses, and all three “solutions” would make perfect business sense, because the bottom line of businesses is the profit. If building condos is more important to UBC than creating and sustaining learning environments, then they are in the wrong business.

As if, if someone else were to start writing this blog tomorrow, it is going to be a solution to my time crunch. As if a person (or a farm) and what has been cultivated for decades does not matter. As if these thoughts can be moved to another brain, and incubated there, the way they incubate in mine.

Well, if it were that easy, I am sure UBC can also move Einstein’s brain to a new site, and hope to reap the benefits of such a brain, right here on UBC land.

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